Guerilla marketing surprises. Not only the consumers. Basically, even the entrepreneurs are always surprised how effective this form of marketing can be. But in order to take this step at all, the supposed courage for the unconventional is part of it. Otherwise, a Guerilla campaign can be planned like each other also in advance well and who understands its target groups really, knows them to impress. A guerilla SMS marketing strategy also combines exciting aspects from the entrepreneur’s point of view: a manageable budget, clearly defined data protection in comparison to social media and, above all, efficiency in terms of accessibility.
What does SMS Guerilla have that Social Media doesn’t?
Quite clearly: reach. And that means high-quality customer segmentation and targeted placement of the campaign. While in social networks endless ads are switched in order to get any reaction from the consumers, the SMS ends up exactly where it belongs. The user who is really interested in it. Not an easy task, especially in guerrilla marketing. Usually the recipients of the message don’t even know that they will be interested in it immediately. That’s what makes this marketing so exciting but also so unpredictable. Nevertheless, anyone trying out unconventional strategies on social media platforms risks losing them somewhere in the sand in the multitude of offers. Attracting attention and being irresistibly interesting are the goals of many. Respect for those who make it.
Unfortunately, the great advantage of authenticity in the social channels has also suffered greatly in recent years. Users have long been prepared for the fact that behind every post, tutorial and photo there is only an advertisement that wants to sell something.
In the SMS sector, on the other hand, the surprise effect is still relatively large. Provided you do it right.
1st Strategy: The favourable opportunity
Because the campaign should not reach as many contacts as possible, half of which are already an unsuitable target group, the contact database is first cleaned up. Customer segmentation, group management and number validation belong to the high standard of every SMS campaign. This allows invalid phone numbers to be sorted out, interest groups to be grouped together and targeted accordingly.
Ultimately, SMS Marketing fits the budget much better. Providers such as sms77 even offer discounted conditions to major customers with a certain monthly sales volume. Now it is only up to the marketing department to pick up the segmented customer group at the ideal touchpoint of the customer journey.
The market research company AdTag launched a one-week campaign in Singapore to make a name for itself. Human billboards roamed the streets, spreading a different short code that was to be sent by SMS. There was daily cash to be won – reported was in regional and local media. More revealing, however, were the more than 20,000 SMS messages received, which AdTag was then able to evaluate in order, for example, to find out at what time of day most passers-by are and become active. This is one of the company’s main tasks – as well as cost-effective advertising measures. Both could be successfully realized with this Guerilla SMS campaign.
2nd Strategy: The right time
Also a decisive advantage compared to other advertising measures: SMS can be pre-programmed precisely to the minute. The parameters are quickly configured via SMS gateway with API connection. Even international campaigns can be optimally controlled by the time-delayed sending of SMS.
Marketing via SMS can also be perfectly adapted to a specific event. In contrast to instant messengers, which depend on Internet access, radio transmission hardly ever leads to delays.
The French magazine L’Argus writes articles about the safety and financing of vehicles. As a special guerrilla campaign, cars were parked on heavily trafficked roads, packed to the top with supposedly genuine banknotes. As an advertising message on top stood: “Don’t put all your money into your car – read L´Argus”. If that wasn’t conspicuous enough, an integrated Bluetooth transmitter sent a text message directly to a nearby mobile phone, pointing out the campaign. Because this concerned usually passenger cars driving past, the message had to arrive in time, before appropriate car would have driven possibly already past.
3rd Strategy: The fast number
Print products, outdoor advertising, online advertising – they all have to wait for the consumer’s attention. However, an SMS arrives directly, is displayed immediately and is usually read by the recipient within less than 3 minutes. Hardly any other advertising channel is so fast. Thanks to the nationwide infrastructure of the transmission networks, there are nearly no more so-called radio gaps.
If you are in a hurry with your message, the SMS campaign is a good choice. Spontaneous actions are just as possible as well prepared ones, which are to be spread however very fast.
In Australia the television station TEN Australia used a combination of advertising poster and SMS campaign to promote the new Big Brother season. Bluetooth transmitters were installed at several bus stops as well as the matching poster. When passengers were waiting for the bus and their Bluetooth was activated, they received an ominous message by SMS at the same moment. An anonymous sender wrote “Im watching u. Ur at the bus stop on St George’s tce, out front of Boost Juice.” Kind of creepy, isn’t it? A few seconds later a second SMS releases the possibly a little insecure passerenger from his anxiety and advertises the start of the season. Big Brother is wachting you! was implemented conceptually here.
4th Strategy: Two-way communication
Reactions to the campaign are not only desired, but extremely important on the part of the entrepreneurs. Each feedback, each evaluation, each criticism gives information about the success of the action, how the image is actually seen and how well the products and achievements arrive at the target group and/or where still must be improved. The newspaper advertisement for example is put simply aside, without which the advertiser noticed whether the reaction was positive, negative or completely disinterested.
In social media there is at least the possibility to post comments, to set Likes or to give asterisks. Two-Way-Messaging offers recipients the opportunity to react directly to the received message almost more directly. Because their response can only be read by the sender itself and neither by all the other members of the Facebook group nor by the general public, certain topics are addressed more honestly. This gives the company truly actionable information.
Virgin Mobile, an Australian mobile network operator, deliberately bored TV viewers with an extremely stupid commercial. A classic nerd was shown holding up an advertising board. A week later the same spot was broadcast again, but with the excuse of how monotonous it was and at the same time the reference to the Virgin Mobile website. There the viewers were supposed to cut an exciting spot for themselves. There were several options to choose from to make the decision easier. Favourites could also be selected via the hotline. The result: a rather bizarre performance in which the well-known advertising medium now holds the sign nearly naked, is threatened by a nun swinging a chainsaw and in addition sounds cool disco music. As well as around 60,000 new customers for Virgin Mobile.
5th Strategy: The relaxed marketing-analysis
Well, how nice it is when the SMS campaign is set up fully automatically and works on its own. Once switched on, marketing strategists can sit back and relax, evaluate data and track success. Each individual SMS can be monitored via a delivery report. In addition, there are informative analysis tools and graphically illustrated statistics that can be used to target the next campaign even more specifically.
Marc Ecko is a brand clothing company whose clientele is predominantly associated with the hip hop scene and graffiti culture. As a special advertising measure, an LCD screen was developed that connects via Bluetooth to the smartphones of passers-by. Such connections can be verified by SMS on request. The configuration is preset fully automatically. Ambitious artists could now select color and spray head on their own device and “spray” or transfer their motif onto the canvas. Customer experience in a different way. Without the campaign requiring much support, Marc Ecko attracted attention, improved the image and strengthened customer loyalty.
Many of these strategies make do with Bluetooth or Wifi hotspots. In the course of the recent general data protection regulation, some guerrilla SMS campaigns may face great legal challenges, but therefore by no means the end. The possibilities and ideas are there, the success undisputed.